Duane Vermeulen
Full names: Daniel Johannes
Date of birth: 3 Jul 1986
Place of birth: Nelspruit
School: Nelspruit
Springbok no: 840
Debut test province: Western Province
Physical: 1.93m, 108kg
Current age: 37

Test summary: Tests: 76 Tries: 3
First Test: 8 Sep 2012 Age:26 Eighthman against Australia at Subiaco Oval, Perth
Last Test: 28 Oct 2023 Age:37 Eighthman against New Zealand at Stade de France, Paris
Test history:
08 Sep 201226EighthmanAustraliaLose: 19-26 Subiaco Oval, PerthWP
15 Sep 201226EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 11-21 Forsyth Barr Stadium, DunedinWP
29 Sep 201226EighthmanAustraliaWin: 31-8 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaWP
06 Oct 201226EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 16-32 National Stadium, JohannesburgWP
10 Nov 201226EighthmanIrelandWin: 16-12 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinWP
17 Nov 201226EighthmanScotlandWin: 21-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghWP
24 Nov 201226EighthmanEnglandWin: 16-15 Twickenham, LondonWP
17 Aug 201327EighthmanArgentinaWin: 73-131 tryNational Stadium, JohannesburgWP
24 Aug 201327EighthmanArgentinaWin: 22-17 Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, MendozaWP
07 Sep 201327EighthmanAustraliaWin: 38-12 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneWP
14 Sep 201327EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 15-29 Eden Park, AucklandWP
28 Sep 201327EighthmanAustraliaWin: 28-8 Newlands, Cape TownWP
05 Oct 201327EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 27-38 Ellispark, JohannesburgWP
09 Nov 201327EighthmanWalesWin: 24-15 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffWP
17 Nov 201327EighthmanScotlandWin: 28-0 Murrayfield, EdinburghWP
23 Nov 201327EighthmanFranceWin: 19-10 Stade de France, ParisWP
14 Jun 201427EighthmanWalesWin: 38-161 tryKingspark, DurbanWP
21 Jun 201427EighthmanWalesWin: 31-30 Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitWP
28 Jun 201427EighthmanScotlandWin: 55-6 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethWP
16 Aug 201428EighthmanArgentinaWin: 13-6 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaWP
23 Aug 201428EighthmanArgentinaWin: 33-31 Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, SaltaWP
06 Sep 201428EighthmanAustraliaLose: 23-24 Subiaco Oval, PerthWP
13 Sep 201428EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 10-14 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonWP
27 Sep 201428EighthmanAustraliaWin: 28-10 Newlands, Cape TownWP
04 Oct 201428EighthmanNew ZealandWin: 27-25 Ellispark, JohannesburgWP
08 Nov 201428EighthmanIrelandLose: 15-29 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinWP
15 Nov 201428EighthmanEnglandWin: 31-28 Twickenham, LondonWP
22 Nov 201428EighthmanItalyWin: 22-6 Stadio Euganeo, PaduaWP
29 Nov 201428EighthmanWalesLose: 6-12 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffWP
26 Sep 201529EighthmanSamoaWin: 46-6 Villa Park, BirminghamWP
03 Oct 201529EighthmanScotlandWin: 34-16 St James Park, NewcastleWP
07 Oct 201529EighthmanUSAWin: 64-0 Olympic Stadium, LondonWP
17 Oct 201529EighthmanWalesWin: 23-19 Twickenham, LondonWP
24 Oct 201529EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 18-20 Twickenham, LondonWP
30 Oct 201529EighthmanArgentinaWin: 24-13 Olympic Stadium, LondonWP
11 Jun 201629EighthmanIrelandLose: 20-26 Newlands, Cape TownToulon
18 Jun 201629EighthmanIrelandWin: 32-26 Ellispark, JohannesburgToulon
18 Nov 201731EighthmanFranceWin: 18-17 Stade de France, ParisToulon
25 Nov 201731EighthmanItalyWin: 35-6 Stadio Euganeo, PaduaToulon
09 Jun 201831EighthmanEnglandWin: 42-39 Ellispark, JohannesburgToulon
16 Jun 201831EighthmanEnglandWin: 23-121 tryFree State Stadium, BloemfonteinToulon
23 Jun 201831EighthmanEnglandLose: 10-25 Newlands, Cape TownToulon
03 Nov 201832FlankEnglandLose: 11-12 Twickenham, LondonToulon
10 Nov 201832FlankFranceWin: 29-26 Stade de France, ParisToulon
17 Nov 201832EighthmanScotlandWin: 26-20 Murrayfield, EdinburghToulon
24 Nov 201832EighthmanWalesLose: 11-20 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffToulon
27 Jul 201933Eighthman (C)New ZealandDraw: 16-16 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonBlue Bulls
10 Aug 201933Eighthman (C)ArgentinaWin: 46-13 Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, SaltaBlue Bulls
06 Sep 201933EighthmanJapanWin: 41-7 Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, SaitamaBlue Bulls
21 Sep 201933EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 13-23 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaBlue Bulls
04 Oct 201933EighthmanItalyWin: 49-3 Shizuoka Stadium, FukuroiBlue Bulls
20 Oct 201933EighthmanJapanWin: 26-3 Tokyo Stadium, Chofu, TokyoBlue Bulls
27 Oct 201933EighthmanWalesWin: 19-16 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaBlue Bulls
02 Nov 201933EighthmanEnglandWin: 32-12 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaBlue Bulls
12 Sep 202135EighthmanAustraliaLose: 26-28 Robina Stadium, Gold CoastBlue Bulls
18 Sep 202135EighthmanAustraliaLose: 17-30 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneBlue Bulls
25 Sep 202135EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 17-19 North Queensland Stadium, TownsvilleBlue Bulls
02 Oct 202135EighthmanNew ZealandWin: 31-29 Robina Stadium, Gold CoastBlue Bulls
06 Nov 202135EighthmanWalesWin: 23-18 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffBlue Bulls
13 Nov 202135EighthmanScotlandWin: 30-15 Murrayfield, EdinburghBlue Bulls
20 Nov 202135EighthmanEnglandLose: 26-27 Twickenham, LondonBlue Bulls
13 Aug 202236EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 23-35 Ellispark, JohannesburgUlster
27 Aug 202236EighthmanAustraliaLose: 17-25 Adelaide Oval, AdelaideUlster
03 Sep 202236ReserveAustraliaWin: 24-8 Sydney Football Stadium (Aussie stadium), SydneyUlster
24 Sep 202236ReserveArgentinaWin: 38-21 Kingspark, DurbanUlster
08 Jul 202337Eighthman (C)AustraliaWin: 43-12 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaUlster
15 Jul 202337ReserveNew ZealandLose: 20-35 Mount Smart Stadium, AucklandUlster
29 Jul 202337Eighthman (C)ArgentinaWin: 22-21 Ellispark, JohannesburgUlster
19 Aug 202337ReserveWalesWin: 52-16 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffUlster
25 Aug 202337EighthmanNew ZealandWin: 35-7 Twickenham, LondonUlster
10 Sep 202337ReserveScotlandWin: 18-3 Stade Velodrome, MarseillesUlster
17 Sep 202337EighthmanRomaniaWin: 76-0 Stade de Bordeaux, BordeauxUlster
01 Oct 202337FlankTongaWin: 49-18 Stade Velodrome, MarseillesUlster
15 Oct 202337EighthmanFranceWin: 29-28 Stade de France, ParisUlster
21 Oct 202337EighthmanEnglandWin: 16-15 Stade de France, ParisUlster
28 Oct 202337EighthmanNew ZealandWin: 12-11 Stade de France, ParisUlster

Duane retires

The double World Cup winning Springbok great and a former captain of the national team, Duane Vermeulen, announced his retirement. The 37-year-old Vermeulen’s illustrious Springbok career spanned 76 Tests over 11 seasons and if it wasn’t for injuries, he would probably have racked up a century of appearances in the green and gold. He started 68 of his Tests in the No 8 jersey, played three times at flanker and five times off the bench, scoring three tries for South Africa.

Vermeulen, who hails from Mbombela in Mpumalanga, made his Test debut against Australia in Perth in 2012 and concluded his international journey in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand in Paris.

He also won the SA Rugby Player of the Year Award twice (2014 and ’20), along with an elite club of only five players who have won the award more than once since the advent of professionalism: Schalk Burger (2004, ’11), Bryan Habana (2005, ’07, ’12), Fourie du Preez (2006, ’09), Jean de Villiers (2008, ’13) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (2016, ’18, ’19).

At provincial level, Vermeulen and the late Springbok loose forward Theuns Stofberg are the only players who have won the Currie Cup with three different unions, when he lifted the coveted gold trophy with the Toyota Cheetahs (2007), DHL Western Province (2012) and Vodacom Bulls (2020).

Duane will forever be regarded as one of the real hard men of South African rugby – he was not only a formidable force for the Springboks but also a multifaceted player who consistently delivered his best.

“As someone who preferred to operate away from the limelight, Duane was one of those players who never settled for second best and always gave everything he had to his team.

“He was a leader who captained South Africa in four Tests, but he also retired as the most-capped Springbok No 8 with two Rugby World Cup winners’ medals – a wonderful achievement for a player who will be remembered as a true legend of the sport.”

Vermeulen made his senior provincial debut for the Airlink Pumas in 2005, the year after he matriculated from Hoërskool Nelspruit. Despite being courted by the Bulls, he opted to remain loyal to the Mpumalanga-based union, skipping the junior ranks.

He never represented South Africa at junior level, but made his debut for the Pumas on 5 August 2005 in a Currie Cup clash against the Border Bulldogs, just a month and two days after turning 19.

Vermeulen played for the Pumas in 2005 and 2006 before he was lured to Bloemfontein by SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, who was then still head coach of the Free Staters. He made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut in 2007, two months before he turned 21.

In 2009, he followed Erasmus and Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber to Cape Town, where he played for DHL Western Province and the Stormers. In the same year he got his first taste of international rugby when he was selected for the Emerging Springboks against the touring British & Irish Lions in the Mother City (he also faced the Lions for DHL WP during the same series).

In 2010, he was included in a preliminary Springbok training squad as part of the preparation for the end of year tour, but he only made his Test debut two years later after struggling with injuries, which saw him miss out on possible selection for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Vermeulen also played club rugby abroad, for Toulon in France (2015-2018), the Kubota Spears in Japan (2018-2020) and Ulster in Ireland (2021-2023).